The adoptive transfer of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells is attracting growing interest for the treatment of malignant diseases. Early trials with anti-CD19 CAR T cells have achieved spectacular remissions in B-cell leukemia and lymphoma, so far refractory, very recently resulting in the Food and Drug Administration approval of CD19 CAR T cells for therapy. With further applications and increasing numbers of patients, the reproducible manufacture of high-quality clinical-grade CAR T cells is becoming an ever greater challenge. New processing techniques, quality-control mechanisms, and logistic developments are required to meet both medical needs and regulatory restrictions. This paper summarizes the state-of-the-art in manufacturing CAR T cells and the current challenges that need to be overcome to implement this type of cell therapy in the treatment of a variety of malignant diseases and in a greater number of patients.
Keywords: ATMP; CAR; T cell; cancer; cell production; immunotherapy.